Summary of Business:M&C Hybrid Energy Ltd is one of Ireland's leading green renewable energy solution providers. Built with the noble purpose of supporting and educating Irish homeowners and businesses to become more energy-efficient and understand the benefits of doing so.
Offering a variety of solutions they work on a variety of assessment and installation projects for its domestic and corporate customers including homeowners, property developers, governmental bodies and construction companies.
What led you to starting your business?Micheal became a plumber by trade but always had a great personal passion for renewable energy. On deciding to pursue additional education in the green arena, Micheal travelled to Austria where he trained with Solarfocus. It was here, he became acutely aware of how Ireland was lagging behind its European counterparts, ten years ago, when it came to renewable energy trends and understanding. Micheal returned with an increased incentive to launch M&C Hybrid Energy Ltd. not only because he knew he’d be ahead of the curve, but also because he felt passionately about sharing his findings with Irish businesses and consumers to start the important conversation and somewhat do his bit to effect positive change.
Carmel, Micheal's wife joined the business in 2008 and is currently responsible for the accounts, general office management and marketing.
How did you raise the funds you need for your business?M&C Hybrid Energy Ltd is completely self-funded.
What is the most significant lesson you have learnt in running your business?The most significant lesson we have learnt is to build relationships with our customers and to be honest with them. Without our customers we would have no business and over the past years we have seen how a job done well leads to another job.
Micheal would always make it his business to meet in person with our potential customers to understand exactly what it is they want to achieve by installing our products and what is the most energy efficient solution for them. This is a very important meeting as it is here where our customers start to gain our trust. This is key.
What has been the proudest moment in your business so far?The proudest moment for us would be the day we moved into our A Rated home the place where we could show case our business and expertise in what we do.
We built our home in 2008/2009. It was a self build. Micheal being a qualified building energy assessor designed our home to be as energy efficient as he could see fit at the time.
Being a renewable energy company also; Micheal would say “There is no point in selling a product to a customer if you do not have it installed in your own home”.
This is the first question a lot of our clients would ask us.
We built an ICF house, air tight, A Rated double glazed windows with a mechanical heat recovery system. Our heating hot water and electrical requirements come from a combination Log Pellet Boiler, 17 square metres of Solar which is a heating support and hot water system. We also installed a 6Kw Wind Turbine. Everything is interlinked into a 1000 litre Buffer Tank which is our storage for our house. The boiler system operates on weather compensation (it only sends in the heat that we need to keep our house at the required temperatures we desire).
In our living quarters we installed a Wood Pellet Stove with a running cost of €1.50 for six hours a night.
Overall the standard that we set back then is the requirements for all new dwellings and part L of building regulations today.
On the basis of all of this our running cost for our home is approximately 700/800 euro per annum.
Being a company who likes to educate people we use our home as a show house for clients to come and see who we are and what we do for themselves.
Over the ten years of M&C Hybrid Energy being in business, we would of helped a lot of our clients in the domestic and commercial and public sectors to offset tens of thousands of tonnes of C02 emissions and will continue to do so.
What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date?The biggest challenge for our small rural energy company was the recession. We had just launched the company so made a huge impact. People were afraid and nobody wanted to spend money when they were unsure of what was to come. We had a greater challenge then ever in front of us to educate people on new technologies in such a daunting time.
However we did and we got through this stronger then ever.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?We would say do it but be ready for a lot of hard work and dedication especially in the first few years. Get some solid advice from a mentor/ entrepreneur. Do up a business plan and stick with it.
Surround yourself in positive environments which will motivate you to do better and greater things. Appreciate the opportunity and strive to be the best that you can.
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?Good to Great - Jim Collins
Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?It would have to be Richard Branson - he is a true inspiration on how to work hard and live life to the full.
What’s your website?http://www.mchybridenergy.com/
What Social Networking sites does your business use?https://www.facebook.com/mandchybridenergy/
How has the SFA helped you in your business?Being shortlisted as finalist with the SFA Awards 2019 has been instrumental to our business. From the first meeting with the SFA committee and members we feel we have got to meet some inspirational entrepreneurs and really network.
This is our first year being members of the SFA and we look forward to all the opportunities it has opened for us. The SFA has raised our companies profile enormously. We have learnt some key tools to taking our business to the next level and feel we will do this now as we have extra support and confidence as members of the SFA.
Contact details:Carmel Smith
M&C Hybrid Energy Ltd.
Address: Mullamagavan, Stradone, Co Cavan, H12 NH90